Historical Background of Odisha
In the past Odisha is famous as Kalinga, Koshala,Udra and utkala. All these independent regions came under one administration which was known as "Utkala" in the long run. There were 6 districts like Cuttack, Puri, Baleswar, Sambalpur, Ganjam and Koraput during the British rule in Odisha.
The ancient habitants of Odisha were mainly the 'Odras' and the 'Utkals'. The Odras took prossesssion of the eastern plains up to the Kalinga in South Odisha, the territory of Kalinga extended from Ganga to Godavari. They had trade relation with Java, Sumitra, Sri Lanka and Bali, etc. The Nandas of Magadhira were the first conquerors of Kalinga. It attained independence after the downfall of the Nanda dynasty. Emperor Ashoka of the Mauryan dynasty had to fight hard with the people of Kalinga in the year 261 B.C in the war at the bank of River Daya near Dhauli. It is said that the River Daya had turned red with the blood of people. Emperor Ashoka felt a change of heart after witnessing the blood and the Kalinga war led to the miraculous transformation of Emperor Ashoka from Chandashoka to Dharmashoka and became one of the chief architects for propagating Buddhism in far of countries out of India.King Kharabela regained independence for Kalinga in 183 B.C and become a great conqueror.
In the year 342 A.D Emperor Samudragupta, the ruler of gupta dynasty, evaded Odisha. In 610 a.d Odisha came under the way of kind Sasanka. After the death of sasanka his rival Harshavardhhan conquered Odisha. During his period famous Chinese piligrim and traveller Huen tsang visited Odisha in 638 A.D. About the middle of the 7th century A.D the Soma-Vansi dynasty was established in Odisha. Mahavanu Gupta janamejaya the first powerful Ruler of the line extended his kingdom upto modern Cuttack. In 715 A.D mahasivagupta Yayati II united Kalinga, Kangoda, Utkal and Kosala and revived the imperial tradition of Odisha under Kharavela. His son and successor and Udaya Keshari was an illustrious ruler and builder. During his reign many temples were erected at Bhubaneswar.
Eastern Gangas succeed the Keshris and ruled till 1435 with their capital at Kalinganagar. The dynasty had fifteen kings and the most wellknown was Cholagangadev. His Kingdom extended from the Ganga to Godavari. The famous Jagannath temple at puri built during his rule in the mid twelfth century. The notable and yet another tourist attraction, the sun temple at Konark was built by king Narasingha Dev, another king of this dynasty. The rule of Gangas was regarded as the golden period for art , architecture and sculpture in odisha. The other illustrious rulers after this were Kapilendradev, Purusotamdev and Prataprudradev of Suryavansa. The last ruler of Odisha was Mukundadev of Bhio dynasty in 1563.
The Turko-Afgan were the first muslim rulers who came to Odisha in 1568. They provwd to be barbarians and destroyed the images in the temples of Odisha. Odisha became a part of the Mughal empire in the year 1575. The Marathas also started incursions between 1742 and 1751. Then Odisha came under the administrations of british. The people of Odisha took active part in the freedom movement and produced galaxy of leaders like pandit Gopabandhu Das, Nilakanth Das, Godavarisha Mishra, Madhusudan Das, Dr. Harekrushna Mahatab, Gajapati Narayan Dev etc.
Odisha is also called as the Land of Lord Jagannath. It has been changing the destiny of many a important people. Mahatma Gandhi the father of the Nation is said to have taken the vow of poverty in Odisha. It is love in all aspects that dominates the life in Odisha.
A good collection on historical information of Odisha. Really I feel it is a good post to read all Odia people.